So the Interweb is freaking out about the new Facebook Ads today. Facebook’s plan is to change the face of “brand advertising” by turning your friends in to marketers – the old idea that a trusted recommendation from a friend is the best advertisement.
The problem is, this works with only a very small number of brands. Most products and brands are commodities, are marketed poorly or are just plain bad. People use them because they have to, but don’t recommend them because of a lack of: Love. I highly recommend Kevin Robert’s Lovemarks book in which he explains what seperates a traditional brand from a “lovemark” – Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy (the same components in a good relationship). My guess is that Facebook’s new system will quickly show the world which products are simply “brands” that no one really cares about and which are “lovemarks” that people are passionate about. While different people have different products that they love there are a lot of products that are either 1) Loved by Most (i.e. Apple) or 2) Loved by no one (i.e. Sprint).
Of all the thousands of products and brands I interact with, there are only a few that I love enough to actually talk about: Apple, Sandals Resorts, Google and Bodos Bagels. I already passionately recommend these to my friends.
My advice to would-be Facebook advertisers. Stop and first check to see if you are a “lovemark” (do you have a passionate follow already?). If not, don’t get on Facebook. Build some love first. Facebook is in real danger of flooding users with recommendations for products that no one really cares about.